Rating : 6/10
Release Date : 30th October, 2015
Time : 101 minutes
Director : John Wells; Writers :Michael Kalesniko; Music : Rob Simonsen;
Starring : Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Daniel Bruhl, Riccardo Scamarcio, Omar Sy, Sam Keeley, Matthew Rhys, Emma Thompson, Uma Thurman, Alicia Vikander, Sarah Greene
Gorgeous visuals of food – both raw and cooked ingredients. Fancy plate settings, culinary flourishes. Beautiful, minimalist decor restaurants. And, as one investor exasperatedly put it, chefs who ‘behave like schoolgirls’.
Bradley Cooper, a two star Michelin Chef, wants to redeem himself. He’d crashed and burnt spectacularly in Paris a while back – wine, women, drugs – had hurt himself and those around him. He’d done his penance, he feels, by shucking a million oysters. And now he wants to go for the third Michelin.
At first, in scenes reminiscent of A Team, he goes around putting his team of chefs together. And then, convinces an investor, Daniel Bruh’s family, (who’d already been badly burnt at his hands once in Paris) to invest in a restaurant with a clever bit of blackmail. Daniel, himself one of the best Maitre’D’s, eventually reluctantly agrees but does post some unusual conditions and Bradley begins work… Will his demons come back to haunt him ? His drug debts from the past ? Will he be able to get his motley crew to work together ? And, most importantly, what of his rivalries from the past, especially with Matthew Rhys, who has already bagged the coveted third star ?
The food part is fun – especially watching the ingredients transform into those beautiful dishes. Some of the conversations about food are fun too, such as ‘Why wouldn’t you eat at a Burger King vs a fancy restaurant which charges a 100 times’ – though the ones which try to be a bit deeper, like ‘What cooking means to you’, come off as a bit contrived.
Emma Thompson, Alicia Vikander and Uma Thurman have small cameos and Daniel, while he has an important role, it lacks the layers he’s so capable of – he seems a bit wasted. Bradley is good (his eyes look so blue!) but is a little flat. The ones who really impress are Rhys, Omar and Sienna – all chefs under Bradley
There is a layer of predictability around it – you can foresee some of the ‘twists’ a mile away. And finally, thanks to the proliferation of cooking shows on TV (Gordon Ramsay is a Chef Consultant to the movie), you wonder if there is really something new here at all…